FantasyLions: Week One

Have any Lions on your fantasy roster? LionsFans.com's fantasy experts Nick West and Adrian Donofrio break down several Lions' fantasy prospects, offering advice on whether you should start or bench your favorite player.

STARTERS

Kevin Jones

Nick West:  The Packers' front seven has been shaken up with team's final roster cuts last week. Gone are defensive tackle Cletidus Hunt and linebackers Hannibal Navies and Ray Thompson. Starter Na'il Diggs is nursing a knee injury and probably won't be ready for the the game. KJ looked impressive in the preseason and it should carry right over to opening day against a questionable Green Bay front seven. Jones is a must-start for you every week in fantasy leagues as he is a threat for 100 yards and a score or two per game.

Adrian Donofrio:  Forget the front seven for the Pack, take a look at the entire defense. It's in shambles folks, and considering that it was stronger last year, when KJ ran 33 times for 156 yards and a score, this should be the game that proves to everyone who didn't know that KJ is a very real threat in fantasy football. His offensive line has been hot and cold this preseason, but expect them to turn it up a notch now that the games count. Bank on 100 yards and at least one touchdown. Kevin is officially listed as questionable for this week's action, but don't be the slightest bit alarmed; he'll definitely start.

Roy Williams

Nick West:   If Joey Harrington only completes 10 passes all game, five of them will be to Roy. The sky is the limit for the former Texas standout who hauled in 54 balls for 817 yards and six touchdowns last season. Let's get this straight, Roy IS the number one receiver on the Detroit Lions and he WILL produce this year. Start Roy against a Packers pass defense that finished 25th in the entire league last year did nothing - except release its best defensive player in safety Darren Sharper - to upgrade.

Adrian Donofrio:    Roy is quickly becoming a top receiver, and he proved that he is still improving as he made his signature circus catches in the preseason. He didn't put up anything worth mentioning against GB last year, but he was battling injuries both games. Completely healthy now, he should tear up the smallish GB backfield, and with no real safety threat, he should be catching balls all over the field. If the offensive line performs at the same level they played when Detroit played the St. Louis Rams this preseason, then expect Roy to get some catches, as Joey likes him as a safety valve. Definitely a starter.

BENCH

Charles Rogers

Nick West:   At this point, Charles is an adequate number three and fill-in receiver for bye weeks or injuries. Though he is super-talented, he must prove himself to stay healthy and be a solid numbers producing receiver to be a starter on your fantasy team. But don't forget, if Roy gets double-teamed, that will leave Charles, the team's number two receiver, in single coverage against the slower and smaller Green Bay cornerbacks. So if you have a 3-WR flex league, then consider Charles.

Adrian Donofrio:  Mr. West is correct in saying that Chuck is an adequate number three receiver, but don't plan on having him there for long. The Pack will likely double the more proven talent in Roy Williams, leaving Charles Rogers and his Randy Moss like speed alone on coverage. Joey Harrington really doesn't have a problem throwing to Charles in any situation either – double coverage, in a crowd of linebackers – you name it, Joey and Rogers have quickly developed a strong raipur that should garner Charles at least four or five receptions for over 60 yards, something a number three receiver is supposed to do – although I expect much, much more this particular week.

Joey Harrington

NW:   And so another questionable season begins. Can Joey lead the team? Can he produce? Can he not make stupid mistakes? Until there are answers to these questions, leave Joey on your bench. It doesn't matter how super-talented the skill positions are that surround him, you must make Joey prove himself as a starter - in real-life and fantasy.

AD:   As much as hate to admit it, Nick is right here. This may be a perfect situation for Harrington: step into the season almost like stepping into perfectly warmed bathwater – totally comfortable and relaxed. However, Joey still hasn't proven anything as fantasy numbers go when the bright lights are on. If you have him on your roster, don't fret – they play Green Bay again this year, as they're in the same division. Watch how he performs, because it could very well end up swaying your decision their next meeting.

Marcus Pollard

NW:  Hold off on Marcus until he finds a niche in the offense. There are 3-4 wide receivers and a running back who are more talented and younger than Pollard. They may be getting the ball first. But don't forget, when those receivers are running routes and being double-teamed because of the potential threat they pose, Pollard may be sprinting down the seam of the field with a linebacker 2-3 yards behind him in coverage. Wait and see how quick Joey picks up on the most talented tight end he's had in four years.

AD:  I disagree on this one; Joey loves his tight ends, and Marcus is the biggest talent at tight end he's ever had. What, you think Mikhael Ricks went on to be a Pro Bowl alternate because he threw the ball to himself? In fact, it was Ricks that Joey used to claw his way into games against Green Bay very early in his career. I think this is worth a start, especially since there really aren't any legitimate safety threats for Green Bay. If they use Pollard in the seams and not underneath the linebackers, he will have a nice four or five receptions for at least half a hundred. Detroit is also using a lot of tight end routes near the end zone, so if you are participating in leagues like Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, that give high rewards for TD's – keep Marcus in mind.

Detroit defense

NW:  Don't start these guys. They have as many questions as Joey does at the QB position. See how they perform through the first part of the season before you consider moving them to first string on your fantasy roster. Fantasy defenses get the points through interceptions and sacks, something this defense has a lot of potential to do, but hasn't proven yet. Just be patient.

AD:  Regardless of Shaun Rogers, Boss Bailey, or any other kind of talent that Detroit fields – Ahman Green still manages to put up one hundred yard games against Detroit. And even though Favre continues to struggle in domes (Detroit is at home this week) it's still not worth the risk. I expect Detroit's defense to perform amicably, I don't think it's worth the risk at this point in the fantasy season, when other teams are lurking in the free agency pool with much less risk.

 

If you have any questions, you can contact Nick West at westnj@hotmail.com.
Additionally, you can contact Adrian Donofrio at adonofrio@gmail.com. Questions
may be used for special mailbag columns to be published on LionsFans.com


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